Are Self-Esteem and Ego the Same Thing?


“Ego” is a Latin and Greek word meaning I, and used to describe the self.

“Self-Esteem” is a term used to reflect a person’s overall emotional evaluation of their own worth.

But could they, in fact, be one and the same.

After all if I describe myself (hypothetically) as totally amazing, surely that is me describing myself and how I feel about myself at the same time. And, therefore I could deduce that both my self-esteem and ego were quite large! (Or you could think that I just held far too high an opinion of myself 😉 )

I always assumed, wrongly as it turns out, that they were one and the same thing. That someone with a big ego, and yes full of their own importance, was very confident in themselves and therefore obviously had a high sense of self-worth.

However, I have been reading some articles and books lately that have made me re-think my stance.

As a general rule, it would actually appear that self-esteem and ego are inversely proportional to each other, meaning that someone with a low self-esteem actually has quite a big ego, and vice-versa.

A person with a big ego needs constant reassurance and bolstering up, apparently, whereas a person with high self-esteem is confident enough to not have a ask for compliments!

And that got me thinking about the ghosts of boyfriends past!

Boomerang Boy – big ego and low self-esteem. He always needed to prove his worth, not to me, but to his peers, and was never confident in himself to say no. He always ended up being taken for a fool, which he was not, by making himself the centre of attention with his antics whilst being goaded on by his so-called friends.

Mr Wrong No. 1 – mmm, tricky. I thought he had high self-esteem, but upon further reflection it would appear he was another with low self-esteem and a big ego. He appeared very confident, and indeed is very knowledgeable about a lot of things (I will be forever grateful for everything I learned from him), but was very quick to belittle other people (or maybe it was just me?)

Mr Wrong No. 2 – no question, big ego. The kind of man who would tell you black was white and argue the case even if the truth was staring him in the face. He was of the opinion that his opinion and no one else’s mattered, and took delight in belittling everyone else – especially me!

So, it seems I have a pattern emerging. They have all been the same ‘type’ of man. And I, like a fool, have fallen for the initial façade rather than the person underneath, and when the devil emerged I tried to ignore it, in the hope that it would go away, but all that happened was my life was sucked out of me.

I spent the best part of 20 years wishing things would turn out better with Boomerang Boy. He was my first love. I love him today, but not in that way, he’s more like the brother I never had. I would do anything for him, but as for being in a relationship with him, not a chance.

For my part, I know I have low self-esteem. I am my own worst enemy. I am far too hard on myself and blame myself constantly for anything that goes wrong. That is a fault and, let’s  just say it’s a work in progress 😉

I would like to think though that I do not have a huge ego.

Some people might assume that I have, but most of the time it’s just me trying, really badly, to fit into the company I am with at the time – when to be honest I would rather be at home with a good book, or curled up under a blanket watching a good film.

I do not like being the centre of attention.

Yes, I act, and yes that obviously involves going on stage with shed-loads of people looking at you.

But I don’t do it for the glory, I don’t do for the ego-trip. I do it because it is the one thing I am passionate about, I love it. It enables me to become so much more than I am, I can crawl beneath the skin of a character and, for a while, enjoy being whatever part I am. It’s the one job I would love to be paid for. It’s my life.

I do have my own opinions, which I don’t think is a bad thing. It means that I am confident in my thoughts. However, I do appreciate and respect other people’s opinions and know that sometimes, unintentionally, my opinions, or off-the-cuff remarks may offend others. This is another fault which I am working on repairing.

 

So, it would appear that self-esteem and ego are not the same things.

What do you think?

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